New Chrysler Pacifica May Be An All-Wheel-Drive

 

There was a rumor that the Chrysler Pacifica was preparing an all-wheel-drive (AWD) variant. It will add a huge benefit in the minivan segment as the Toyota Sienna is currently the only competitor that offers an all-wheel-drive. An AWD option could help improve Pacifica’s popularity.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Pacifica will get an AWD option, but there hasn’t been a lot of news on it. An all-wheel-drive vehicle may be the vehicle that many living in inclement weather, such as ice and snow, are waiting on. The Pacifica could soon be the go-to vehicle for those wanting a minivan and an all-wheel-drive.

The strong sales in Canada drive the high demand on the Pacifica offering AWD. Offering AWD can help Chrysler gain more sales in colder regions of the United States as well. The popular SUVs account for more than 30 percent of new vehicle sales.

It’s believed that the next-generation Chrysler Pacifica can be announced within the next two months. If it comes out within that time-frame, it would be sooner than it was expected. The 2018 Pacifica is still relatively new, having launched for the 2017 model year and after the Dodge Grand Caravan, it is currently the second best-selling minivan in America.

Chrysler could decide to go all out with the vehicle design. It could develop a new plug-in hybrid powertrain to coexist with the AWD variant. It can also switch to an entirely new architecture allowing for an AWD powerplant.  

The Pacifica AWD production is expected to start in the second quarter of 2020, according to data organized from industry sources obtained by Automotive News. The timing couldn’t be at a better time as it matches the launch of a potential new-generation Pacifica. If the new minivan makes an appearance before the end of 2019, it makes sense for three to six months after that to be put into production.  

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) could also inaugurate an SUV based on the platform of the Pacifica. As stated, nothing has been announced yet. Former FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne, said “the platform is ready, and the plant can take it” so the automaker can “probably get it up and running in 18 months.”

PACIFICA AS A POSSIBLE CONTENDER:

A possible contender might be an alternative in the Chrysler Pacifica. Chrysler has mentioned that the Pacifica “could support” the all-wheel-drive option. Although, it did not initially roll out an all-wheel-drive.

Current reports have been advocating that the all-wheel-drive Pacifica has been called off. So, don’t hold your breath. Chrysler U.S. brand director Bruce Vasilek said they were open to the idea, but plans have been put away at the moment.

Vasilek said that Chrysler would “continue to monitor AWD vans and will consider it in the future,” in regards to the Pacifica. For now, FCA sources have said that the minivan will stay as a front-wheel drive. The Pacifica platform will probably serve as the support for the next-generation Chrysler 300.

Chrysler excavated the all-wheel-drive when they introduced the Stow ‘n Go seating option in its vans. What Stow n’ Go seating allows is for the second and third-row seats to fold flat into a storage compartment on the floor. Stow ‘n Go won’t work if a driveshaft is added to the Pacifica.  

BENEFITS OF ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE:

So how exactly does an all-wheel-drive differ from a four-wheel-drive? A four-wheel-drive will stay in rear-wheel drive mode until it’s physically shifted to the four-wheel mode. The all-wheel-drive is associated more with car-based platforms like crossover and minivans, while the four-wheel-drive is typically found in trucks.  

Chrysler also wanted to introduce a three-row crossover based on the Pacifica platform, but there hasn’t been any information on it. After its discussion many years ago, the long-rumored new model which was to offer the all-wheel-drive, hasn’t come to fruition. Although Chrysler has a five0year outlook set in place, Marchionne, announced in the summer of 2018, that the company had not laid out a road map for Chrysler brand’s future product plans yet.

DO WE NEED AN ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE MINIVAN?:

Product Planning Director for the Chrysler Group, Todd Breneiser, said that Chrysler’s minivan owners aren’t shrieking for an all-wheel-drive. “There’s a vocal minority that would really like to have the all-wheel-drive, and that’s in the same parts of the country where we see the high take rates for other all-wheel-drive vehicles, but for the general population, I wouldn’t say it’s in high demand,” Breneiser said in a telephone interview with cars.com.

Minivans are well equipped to handle large amounts of snow with a front-wheel-drive. An all-wheel-drive isn’t always a must especially if winter tires can improve traction. One thing is for sure, an all-wheel-drive Pacifica might be a game-changer.

You can search the inventory of Chrysler Pacifica’s at Miami Lakes Automall. Make sure to stop by for a test drive and see if this model and make is the car for you.

Photo Credit: BobBakerChryslerJeepDodgeRam.com

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